The Buried Moon Virtual Spiritual Retreat

Week Two, Day Two
Full Moon (The Pink Moon) tonight at 10:35 PM EST 

      Let us, once again, enter into our 'chispa' inner space, where our own divine creative spark can come alight and guide us into profound transformation. Phylicia Rashad, actor, singer, and producer, writes, “before a child talks they sing, before they write they draw, as soon as they can stand they dance. Art is fundamental to human expression.” Art is such a powerful tool for spiritual self expression because it is embodied. In an age where so much learning is verbal, text-based, and word heavy, our bone-deep predilection for art-making offers us a restorative way to process our deepest thoughts and feelings. 
        Today we will be creating abstract paintings or drawings that reflect on the importance of both light and dark within our lives. Abstract watercolor painting lends itself particularly well to art as a spiritual practice because it empowers the creative process without the pressure to produce detailed images. By being nonrepresentational, abstract painting emboldens us to enter into an intentionally symbolic space. 

Spiritual Art Practice: Abstract Watercolor
"Dark Light" by Samantha Keely-Smith

1. Light the Candle, take a deep breath, and mark this time and place as a space for retreat.

2. Bless the Tools: Hold your brushes or pencils, paints, and paper in your hand and in silence or aloud offer a moment of blessing for them as sacred instruments in this spiritual practice. I have included a blessing below, but please use your own if you wish. 
Stir in us the holy spark of creativity, the one that is embodied and embrace in the constant recreation of the world. May our hands intentionally create, may our thoughts reveal new self-awareness, may our hearts open to our own holy narratives, may our eyes feast on color and movement, may our creative tools aid us as we make and are made new.  

 3. Creative Prompt: Most fairy tales and myths use archetypes to explore the deepest elements of our inner selves. The Buried Moon embraces elements of both light and dark as active players in its story; it's important to note that the bog makes room for both light and dark in turn. Darkness and light hold important roles in our lives, and each are complex symbols for growth, emotion, and revelation. I've pulled phrases from this section of The Buried Moon that use dark and light imagery. Spend a few moments now savoring each one, letting yourself feel whatever comes. 

through the darkness

light that flickered out from her cloak

the light might mean help and safety

the beautiful light that spilled out drove away the darkness

cried with joy to see the light again

to see the dark, shadowy Things 

they couldn’t abide the light

hardly thought to wonder at the source of the light

the light went out

the darkness came back to the bog

the dark corners

a pale light began to rise

4. Paint/Draw: Once again, Enter into a practice of painting or drawing as process. Create an abstract painting or drawing that embraces elements of both light and dark. Let your heart draw you to the colors in your palette that can become symbols for each side of the spectrum. Be intentional about where you place each color on the page and the ways in which they might relate to each other.  I encourage you to adopt a playful posture as you move through this spiritual practice, letting your heart (rather than your head) guide your brush. 

"Abstract Blue" watercolor painting by Almond Tree Art
Questions for Reflection
Sit quietly for a moment, gazing at the image you have just created, and meditate or journal on these queries
  • What colors did you choose to represent darkness? Why? 
  • What colors did you choose to represent light? Why? 
  • Do the two ends of the light spectrum flow into each other in your image? Or are they kept apart in distinct sections of the page? Are they mixed on the page? What does this reveal for you? 
  • What are the invitations you want to explore further?

Weekly Outline

Mondays: Listening Deeply with Lectio Divina
Tuesday: Spiritual Art Practice
Wednesday: Civic Reflection Journaling
Thursday: Sacred Aesthetic Experience
Friday: Creative Writing Prompt *optional Zoom gathering @ 1 pm EST
Sat/Sun: Time for rest, catching up, and integration

Previous Emails

If you would like to look back on previous emails of the retreat, they can all be found here.

Creating Space

An essential part of 'retreating' while at home is to create intentional space that feels sacred, designated, and distinct from your ordinary routine. This can be a small corner of your desk, a part of your shelf, a nightstand by your bed, etc. Objects you cherish can help create a special space.
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Bates Multifaith Chaplaincy · 163 Wood St · Lewiston, ME 04240-7687 · USA

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